Panel names school board members

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

COURTLAND—Dr. Carolyn Modlin, Christopher Smith Sr. and William Worsham were named as the appointees to the Southampton County School Board on Tuesday. Their terms take effect on Tuesday, July 1, and expire on June 30, 2018.

“The magic hour is here,” Wayne Cosby said at the beginning. He directs the committee that’s in charge of making the appointments. Serving with him are Mark Hodges and Emerson Kitchen Sr. The trio also oversaw the public hearing that took place on June 3. At that time, Roberta Naranjo had announced her retirement, which opened up the Boykins seat. She had served for 40 years.

Smith, who was the only board member reappointed, will continue to serve the Jerusalem District.

For the at-large position, Worsham succeeds Diane Jones, who left soon after the announcement.

Following a reading of minutes, Kitchen prefaced the committee’s decision by announcing his own retirement from the panel.

“These appointments took a lot of thought. We had so many good candidates,” he said. “I’m stepping down with Mrs. Naranjo. I’ve enjoyed serving. It was a pleasure.”

Hodges said, “School boards are important. The job is difficult.

“The interest in the school board is greater than I’ve ever seen.”

He also said that the Southampton County Public School Division is “far ahead of other schools, but they’re nipping at our heels.”

Further, he said that economic development is of the utmost importance, particularly when it comes to supporting schools and attracting businesses and people to the county.

“We’re strong and we’ve got to remain strong,” said Hodges, who added that the committee doesn’t take its responsibilities lightly.

Echoing those thoughts, Cosby added his appreciation to all of the candidates who wanted to be on the board.

“The job is not an easy one. It’s thankless, but important,” he said.

Following the conclusion, a member of the audience asked Cosby if the panel’s decision could be appealed. To which Cosby suggested checking the Code of Virginia or contacting the Commonwealth Attorney.